Cancer among college students is a relatively rare event, but certain self care actions can be important for preventing cancer later in life.  Most of the cancer types discussed below develop over time in association with a continued risk exposure or activity.  The time for prevention is now, but the time of negative impact is potentially decades in the future.   

Knowing your own body and paying attention to it is an important kind of self-care.  There do exist some rare, and usually very treatable, cancers that can occur in young people, especially lymphoma and testicular cancer.  These cancers are often diagnosed after a person notices some change in the way their body usually is. Unusual and/or painful swelling, lumps or bumps that last weeks, big and persistent decreases in energy, night sweats, or other intrusive, persistent changes in your usual state of health should prompt you to seek evaluation at Student Health and Wellness or with another trusted medical provider. 

  • Click here to schedule a visit to get checked for a concern. 


HPV vaccination can dramatically reduce the risk of developing certain cervical, vaginal, penile, anal, and head and neck cancers. 

  • Click here to learn about HPV and how to schedule a vaccine if you need one. 


Hepatitis B vaccination can reduce the risk of certain types of liver cancer. 

  • Click here to learn about Hep B and how to schedule a vaccine if you need one. 


Preventing sun over exposure by choice of clothing and use of sunscreen can greatly reduce your risk of developing certain types of skin cancer. 

  • Click here to learn more about skin cancer. 
  • Click here for our on-campus Pharmacy and to order from our online marketplace. 


Avoiding smoking or vaping, or getting help to cut back or quit, can greatly reduce your risk of certain types of lung cancer and head and neck cancers, in addition to heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular complications. 

  • Click here to learn more about the benefits of quitting vaping. 
  • Click here to learn more about the benefits of tobacco cessation. 
  • Click here to schedule an appointment with one of our free Nurse Coaches that specialize in helping students wishing to cut back or quit tobacco/vaping. 
  • Click here to SHaW's Pharmacy online marketplace for nicotine replacement products to help your journey to quit or cut back.

Eating a diet that is lower in red meat and higher in whole grains and fiber can reduce your risk of colon cancer.   

  • Click here to learn more about our free Nutrition Counseling services and resources and how to schedule a free 1 on 1 nutrition consultation. 


Keeping a healthy weight is important, too. Being overweight or having obesity is a risk factor for a variety of types of cancer. 

  • Click here to learn about our Physical Activity Counseling services and how to schedule a free 1 on 1 consultation. 


Knowing your family history can help you focus your prevention and awareness efforts.  As a general rule, history in first-degree relatives (parents, sisters, brothers) is the most predictive.  We usually will ask about any diagnoses that immediate family members have.  This can be a valuable conversation with parents and family members as you take over more responsibility for your own health. 

  • Click here to learn more about conditions likely to be passed down through families and for tips on having a conversation with family members. 


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